In this course the classical ethics virtues of wisdom, justice, courage, temperance, and piety will be applied to the vital ethical and health issues we (Georgetown, the United States, and the entire world) are grappling with as we cope with COVID-19. Professor Lewis looks at how government approaches health and policy issues and Professor Buckley gives the academic background and critical analysis of current and emerging COVID issues.
A signature piece of a Jesuit education is the study of ethics. Ethical issues have been debated and discussed throughout history and many of the issues which confronted society in classical times are still with us today. As society grows more complex, ethical issues also grow more complex. In this course, students are introduced to the classical issues in ethics and are required to read, write, and discuss critically the following major ethical theories: 1) virtue ethics, 2) stoicism, 3) religious ethics, 4) the social contract, 5) natural rights, 6) duty ethics, and 7) utilitarianism. We will also study modern and contemporary interpretations of these traditional theories. Finally, the traditional theories are applied to critical ethical issues confronting society today in COVID. Applied ethics topics include social justice, bioethics, national security, and the politics of COVID.
Note: This course meets a Philosophy or Writing Core Area requirement.
Discovery: The History, Politics, and Future of Human Exploration
This course uses an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating the sciences and the humanities, to explore the history and future of human exploration and discovery. It begins with the most distant story we can tell of early Homo sapiens venturing out of Africa some 60,000 years ago and ends with our reach into space—speculating on the future of human discovery. What are the catalysts for human beings to leave one place for another into the unknown? Often this has come as a response to climate changes, disasters, disease, and/or changes in food sources. In other cases the movement is caused by human conflict, seeking out new wealth and trade, or the development of a new technology that reduces the risks of travel. On some occasions the impetus has been simple human curiosity. In most cases these movements have had lasting effects on human politics and culture. This course takes a global approach—in some cases literally out of this world—to study the causes and effects of these human journeys. It also looks to the future to all that has not yet been explored to answer where we might go next and what impacts this may have. Texts include scientific studies, historical narratives, and primary source documents.
Note: This is a non-western course in the old curriculum. This course meets a Culture or Social Sciences Core Area requirement.
A survey of the development of medical knowledge and practice from ancient time down through modern times. Special attention is given to understanding these developments and advances in the context of the cultures and the historical and societal circumstances in which they occurred. This course requires no previous knowledge of medicine.
Note: This course meets the Natural Sciences Core requirement and an International Relations elective.
This course will examine the phenomenon of innovation in the business setting. How do business leaders get new ideas and implement them? What are the hurdles to innovation and how do successful entrepreneurs overcome them? Through case studies and discussion of the theory of entrepreneurship, students will assess and develop their own abilities to be entrepreneurs.Required course for Entrepreneurship concentration.
Note: This is a required course in the Business and Entrepreneurship concentration.
What does it mean to be a member of a particular society? How is it that individuals both form and are formed by society? Who exercises power and in what ways? While all Core Courses address these questions in some way, it is especially the social sciences that are designed to explore them in depth. This course introduces students to the basic theories, methods, and particular contributions of anthropology, psychology, and sociology in attempting to answer such questions. It will provide students with a better understanding of the social and cultural worlds they inhabit and offer needed tools for analyzing the material covered in other Core Courses as well.
Note: This course is for students in the previous curriculum (BLHS 100-111) only.
This course offers an overview of one of the world’s largest and most profound religious traditions. The content includes the background, origins, and history and evolution of the Islamic Faith. The focus will include the scriptures of Islam, its doctrines and teachings, rituals, and varieties and structures as they developed from Muhammad’s time down to the ways this faith is practiced today in Islamic nations, and in other countries as well. Careful attention is given to readings from the Qur’an and the Hadith, as well as to controversies and misconceptions regarding Jihad, Shari’a, women and family, and relations with other faiths. No prior knowledge of Islam is presumed.
Note: This course meets either the Culture or Humanities Core Area requirement. This course also meets an elective requirement in the Humanities or International Relations concentration.
European art, literature, and philosophy since the end of the eighteenth-century forms a rich and varied tradition. The historical processes that define this complex period are often associated with labels like “modernity,” “Romanticism,” “secularization,” “rationalization,” and “post-modernism.” This semester, we will review major trends while concentrating on intellectual and creative developments in European and American culture, society, politics, arts, and letters that came in the wake of the French and American Revolutions and shaped the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
These two centuries are the focus of our studies and we will use the key organizing concept of finitude to examine them. This means that we will try to understand the shift from modern to postmodern perspectives on a variety of issues in terms of changing ideas about the nature, scope, and meaning of human limitations. In this sense, our study of key voices during this period hone in on themes related to the character and purpose of being human. These include transcendence versus immanence, necessity versus contingency, autonomy versus dependency, universal versus particular, unity versus pluralism and difference, and the distinction between what is absolute and what is socially and historically conditioned.
This course does more than introduce students to concepts, theories, movements, and innovations that help define the modern and the postmodern. As a class, we will enact the modern (and postmodern) ideal of interrogating and determining our own relationships with some of the most challenging and transformative ideas of the past two centuries.
Note: This course meets the Humanities Core Area requirement and is required for the Humanities concentration.
This course must be taken as the student’s final course in the Core in that it draws on all the Core Courses. This is a course on late twentieth- and early twenty-first century America. Its time frame roughly corresponds to the life spans of most BALS students. Its purpose is to help apply the critical approaches they have learned elsewhere to the world in which they live.
Note: This course is only open to students in the previous curriculum (BLHS 100-111). Students who matriculated in/after fall 2019 or who elected to pursue the new curriculum are not allowed to take this course.
In this course we analyze problems of war and peace from authoritarian, liberal, and realistic perspectives in the context of some national, ideological, and racial conflicts of the twentieth century. The course has two major components, one theoretical and the other humanist focused on novels, memoirs, historical narrations and films. We will study the views of the influential German jurist and political philosopher Carl Schmitt, a Nazi collaborator, who claims that the concept of enemy is the essence of the political and the ever present possibility of war is a reality humans can only deny hypocritically and are powerless to remove; the opposing view of American philosopher John Rawls who holds that a liberal conception of justice can be the basis for peace between peoples because even illiberal “decent” peoples may use it to solve international conflicts and avoid war; Samuel Huntington´s idea ( The Clash of Civilizations) that conflicts between civilizations will fuel the wars of the 21th century, and Francis Fukuyama´s theory ( The End of History and the Last Man) that the advance of democracy, capitalism, technological skills and science, in a word “globalization” will lead to a peaceful world society he identifies with the end of history.
Note: This is a required course in the BALS curriculum prior to fall 2019 and counts for 4 credits. Students in the new curriculum are eligible to take this course, which applies to either the Culture, Humanities or Social Sciences Core Areas.